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Floating Lineart PS Action by Majnouna Floating Lineart PS Action by Majnouna
I still see deviants asking how to separate their lineart from the background, while there's a very simple way to do it cleanly. I made this action for myself, so that it literally takes one click of the mouse to obtain clean black lines on a transparent background. I decided it was simpler to post it than to keep explaining how to do it!

If you're scanning ink: You must scan your inked piece using the "black and white" (or "bitmapped") setting on your scanner. Scanning in this mode ensures only your inked lines get picked up anything light grey on the paper such as smudges, unerased pencil, or even lines will be ignored. I recommend scanning bigger than your final size, then reducing it to the desired size after applying the action. I designed the action for this use (scanning inked lines) so this will give the best results.

If you're scanning a sketch: Scan in grayscale and adjust the levels so that the lines are quite dark. If it's difficult to achieve that, duplicate the layer, set the top one to Multiply and merge them. You can do this several times until your pencil lines are strong enough. You'll need to make sure the white background is really white, i.e. clean up any artefacts or they will get picked up with your pencil lines.
The stronger and cleaner your lines are, the better the action will work. If there's a lot of grey smudge, that's going to get picked up as well, so make sure the lines are as contrasted as possible.

How to use this:
Click Download.
Decompress the file in the location of your choice.
In Photoshop, open the Actions palette and select Load Actions, then this file [Clean Lineart.atn]
Open your scanned file, select the action in the palette and press the Play button. You're done. Your lineart is now a layer floating above a transparent background.
(The lineart in the preview looks blurry because it's a screenshot, not because of the action)

If you want to color the lineart alone, just lock the layer and use any coloring tool only the lines will get colored.

I hope this helps. No credit necessary or anything. Just don't claim you made it I'd never find out, but you'd still be a prat.

This action was made in CS3, but it works in CS2, so it's worth trying on whatever PS version you have!
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:iconmrslavender:
MrsLavender Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011
Thank you!
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:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2011  Professional General Artist
Welcome!
Reply
:iconprincessofdonutland:
PrincessOfDonutland Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2011
ah thanks you, though it didn't work like I hoped it would for what I needed x3 but thank you for sharing.
Reply
:iconzenrumi:
ZenRumi Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Wonderful action I love it! I just used it on a drawing, not even inked and it worked great! :)
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
Excellent :D
Reply
:icongalahad235:
galahad235 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011
MUchas gracias .
Estaba buscando esto.
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Professional General Artist
De nada :)
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011  Professional General Artist
De nada :)
Reply
:iconwhaling:
whaling Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010
thanks very much mate
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Welcome!
Reply
:iconrinnii:
Rinnii Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome action, saved my butt! :D cheers.
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Professional General Artist
Hehe cool!
Reply
:iconkeibers:
keibers Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
Thanks, this if very helpful :D +fav
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010  Professional General Artist
Great! :D
Reply
:iconsinapis:
sinapis Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010
U're great ! All of Your tutorials're marvellous! Thank You very much (I've voted for Your comics:)).

Greets
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2010  Professional General Artist
Very nice of you, thanks!
Reply
:iconkiryki:
Kiryki Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, this has helped greatly!
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Great!
Reply
:iconpsychotropicfox:
PsychotropicFox Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Or you can just set the layer to "multiply" :B
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Professional General Artist
No. Read the comments, I've already answered this.
Reply
:iconpsychotropicfox:
PsychotropicFox Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just don't see what the difference is.
Why go through all the trouble of doing like 20 steps when you can just set it to multiply? I know it's in the comments... but, it's like... why. What's better about this?
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
I already listed the reasons in answer to someone else. What's not to get? Bottom line is, this is the proper and cleanest way of doing it. Multiply is a quick, sloppy fix with limited applications that is only suitable for simple pieces.
Reply
:iconsellece:
sellece Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
Thank you SO MUCH, you have no idea how long I've been looking for something like this :love:
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconchanguru:
changuru Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2010
thank you.
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Professional General Artist
Welcome!
Reply
:iconsweetangel1927:
sweetangel1927 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"I hope this helps. No credit necessary or anything. Just don't claim you made it – I'd never find out, but you'd still be a prat."
LOL. This is like the 5th thing you've said I've laughed at. xDD
Man, yes I totally did just spend like the last 3 hours reading your tutorials.
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional General Artist
:giggle: Good, good! I aim to entertain ;)
Reply
:iconathenabeta:
athenabeta Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
will this work in CS4? :c
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
No reason why not!
Reply
:iconathenabeta:
athenabeta Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
great! thank you c:
Reply
:iconsweetlee97:
sweetlee97 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2010  Professional General Artist
thank you! plan to use it soon
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2010  Professional General Artist
Cool!
Reply
:iconkashidom:
kashidom Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Do you (still) remember/know what's inside the plug-in? What actions it does, etc.

I use Painter, and would like to get some clean results, too :3
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010  Professional General Artist
Of course I know, but I don't think it can be done on painter since it requires layers and channels. Can you clean up your lineart in photoshop then import it into painter?
Reply
:iconkashidom:
kashidom Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't have PhotoShop ;3

But I can use layers and channels in Painter. Including channel masks and selective channels :D
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
Ok, try this then:
You need to have your artwork scanned as bitmap (black and white).
Convert to greyscale
Convert to layer (in PS it's necessary so that there's a transparent background behind the layer, not sure what painter's situation is)
Go to channels: there should only be one. Load the channel as a selection – this will select all the black pixels
Invert selection to select the white instead
Delete!
Reply
:iconkashidom:
kashidom Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh. Yeah, this is the way I do it, too. Only, it also works with non-bitmap pictures :3

I use this technique for all my transparent pictures. If I save them as PNG, I don't even need to use the channels. All I do then is disable the background and save as PNG. Thanks for explaining, though! If there was a step I missed, I would have known ;D
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
Of course it works with non-bitmap pics, but the point of scanning them as bitmaps is to have clean black lines.
Reply
:iconkashidom:
kashidom Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
I know :3

But, for that, there's also color correction, levels and curves... so people have a bit of a choice, in that
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yes and no. All ways are not equal. And there's no point in taking 3 or 4 steps to do something your scanner can do.
Reply
:iconmorbiddenflower:
Morbiddenflower Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010
you are a god! :D
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2010  Professional General Artist
Goddess ;)
Reply
:iconmorbiddenflower:
Morbiddenflower Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2010
Even better! :D
Reply
:iconvocalisistic:
Vocalisistic Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great thing ^^ Thanks ^^
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Sure :)
Reply
:iconnellysaangel:
NellySaangeL Featured By Owner May 26, 2010  Student General Artist
Thanks a lot!!! *O*
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner May 26, 2010  Professional General Artist
Sure :D
Reply
:iconzvelickov:
zvelickov Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2010
I try your action and like it but is it possible without transparency. I duplicate new layer 3 times and get original colors.
Reply
:iconmajnouna:
Majnouna Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2010  Professional General Artist
When you run into the limitations this creates, you'll understand why transparency is preferable.
Reply
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January 29, 2008
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